Legal executives are asked to predict the future to aid strategic planning, a task made less daunting by Greg Stern’s advice on navigating the trends of the legal profession in his latest Tech Toolbox column.
Law departments are very busy places: Lawyers, compliance, and other paraprofessionals typically have plates overflowing with work. Clients are demanding, and law department staff members must manage all demands without dropping any of the plates they are juggling.
My, how the legal world has turned. I can’t imagine a successful lawyer these days who doesn’t do their own word processing, calendaring, email, etc. Indeed, that level of basic technology skill has become table stakes in almost all business careers these days. But lawyers need a much deeper level of technology competence.
Working remotely enables access to a talent pool of professionals who once would have required expensive or unwilling relocations. This means we can collaborate with people around the world in ways we never did before.
Most tech platforms are like those luxury gated communities or apartment complexes that have so many amenities, like on-site grocery stores, pickleball courts, and health spas, that you stop wondering about the outside world because it is so pleasant and convenient inside.
But it has also demonstrated that allowing some employees to work from home may be a reasonable — or even preferable — alternative to requiring them to work on premise. There are a number of benefits in developing a distributed law department.
We are in the midst of an extraordinary crisis. Or many crises. The normal human state in times like these is anxiety and stress. So, your feelings are entirely normal. But not necessarily helpful. What can you do to make yourself better than “normal,” to rise above the situation?
According to ACC surveys, phishing risks and countermeasures are a top concern for in-house counsel. And the problem isn’t going away — in fact, the scope of the problem is increasing in the chaotic COVID-19 world. So, what is phishing anyway?
Opening up again is critical — when done safely. Our economies were never built for this. The pandemic kills people to be sure, but so do hunger and the crushing weight of collapsing finances. There is a balance to be found between opening up and avoiding the spread of the virus.
It’s hard turning off work mode during the pandemic. Since working from home for the past few months, you've become a closet workaholic. Literally a closet, because that was the only place you could get enough solitude to make a feasible home office.
Most people have no idea how valuable their personal information is and therefore how carefully they should guard it. Or from whom they should be guarding it. Right now, one of the biggest threat vectors is that most of the internet economy runs on advertising; advertising runs on targeted ads; and targeted ads run on what many properly informed people would conclude is information they would prefer to keep private.
The amount of digital content keeps growing exponentially. This obviously has tremendous environmental implications. At three percent of the global electricity supply, and accounting for about two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, data centers have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry.
Over the past several years, using patents to protect innovation has become increasingly complicated as technology itself has exploded in sophistication and complexity. This is especially true in the realm of software. In the United States, patents are currently being used as both swords and shields in attacks on software innovation. This dynamic tension is most evident in the context of so-called patent assertion entities (PAEs) or nonpracticing entities (NPEs), otherwise known in the geek community as “patent trolls.”
I am a big fan of technology as an enabler of individuals. But I am also an ardent supporter of privacy and personal freedom. These days, those two ideas often clash in ways that seem impossible to resolve. I am hoping that as a society we will be able to reconcile them, but it won’t be easy.